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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Featured artist...Julie from LexMiniboux

This Sunday I bring to you Julie from LexMiniboux.  This is another lovely fresh shop full of handmade pretty things.  Please enjoy the interview, Happy Easter as well

1. Tell us as little or as much as you would like about yourself.
Hello ! I'm Julie, illustrator & designer, almost 30 years old. I am the
founder of Les Miniboux and I do everything in my shop : the design, the
production and also all the aspects  of running my own small business.

Small Deer notebook
2. What do you sell?
I sell handmade housewares, mostly tea towels, pillows and mugs and also
stationery like hand painted notebooks and illustrated postcards.

3. Why handmade?
I chose handmade to create things myself. I like to sew and paint and
draw, I really need to keep my hands busy creating things. Having an online shop to sell handmade goods is also a great way to create another way of selling goods and really connect with customers all around the
globe, which I just love.

4. Where does your inspiration to create come from and/or your
inspiration in life?
Ideas and inspiration come from everywhere, I really think inspiration
surrounds us and we only have to see it. Mine mostly comes from the
ocean and the nature. I live by the sea and it takes a great place in my
work. The funny characters I draw (like the owl, the squirrel or the
reindeer) come directly from the time back when I was an Animation & VFX
student and loved to create funny and cute characters.

Green and striped brooch
5. Besides creating what else do you do? Do you have a full time job?
My shop and my creations are my full time job, so right now I kinda live
it, eat it, breathe it ... love it !

6. When did you start thinking you were an artist?
I think I always knew I ended up being some kind of artist or designer.
I've always wanted to do something related to art and allowing me to
spend my days drawing.

7. Who has been most influential in your craft work?
That's a trick question. There has been so many designers and artists
who influenced me, I'm not sure I could pick one. Let's say one of my
favorite is Marimekko.

Neon Pink Owl Tote Bage

8. Where would you like to be in five years?
I'd like to keep it going, continue to create pretty things, having my
products sold in retails shops all around the world and why not working
with a team to manage everything.

Eucalyptus towel
9. Is there anything you'd like to try doing that you haven't done?
crafts, sports, life in general?
There's so many things I'd like to try once ! Let's say I'd like to try
long board skating & stand-up paddling.

10. Besides online where else do you sell?
Besides my online shop, I sell in two retail shops in Brittany, France
right now. My studio is in the garden of one of the shops. I'm looking forward to work with other shops, maybe shops outside of France this

Ways to contact you:

website : working on it ! It might take some time :)

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Knotted headband

Yes it's that time of the month ladies!!  Time to share the crochet along project.  Alycia started a new blog Habitual Homebody.  This time we worked on a knotted headband,  free pattern on All About Ami.

I did vertical rows of sc crocheting in only the front loops creating a ribbed look.
I crocheted a bit too long :(   
so it's a bit loose on my head.

It was a very easy project.
To be honest this headband is not something 
that I would wear very often, 
but I really was excited to do it, it might be something that my sister, my daughter or my nieces would wear.

 I really wanted to sport it for you guys in a picture today
but honestly I am not having a good hair day and maybe my insecurities in trying something new.

Anyways here is my knotted headband.

Come and check out the rest of the knotted hairbands

Storefronts for March week 4

This is the last Thursday in March and this is not a storefront, but rather the back of a store on the Harvard District here in Down town Hemet.  It is an empty rental space.  My husband and me love it!  every time we drive by this place we dream of one day having a rental space for what?? I don't know, a coffee place? a place to sell my handmades? I don't really know we just dream.  There is nothing wrong with that!  This is a much larger place that the one up on the mountain.  I just love the looks of it, the old wooden frame and that wonderful brick wall.  A girl can dream right?

Today I want to share a quick story.  When I was a single gal and was working at the school, I bought my first car.  In order to pay for it and and not be broke all the time I also had a part time at a Christian Bookstore. On one of those days that I was broke (even after having two jobs I still had those days)  If I recall correctly It was a Saturday I only had like five or six dollars on me and it was lunch time, I was hungry but also was craving for a sundae.  I had to make the tough decision between buying a burger combo or a delicious sundae.  
I went for the Sundae and didn't regret it all, I enjoyed it greatly and knew I had made the best decision.  
A girl has to treat herself once in a while right?
Now every time I eat ice cream those memories come to my mind.

It's the little things that you enjoy best in life, isn't it??

Have you ever had to make a tough decision burger or sundae??

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Guest post by Sophia

Today my daughter Sophia is writing a guest post.  She has some interesting things to say about peer pressure in school. I am so very proud of her because so far she's known how to manage it.


Hello, My Name Is Sophia. I am an eleven year old. I am in fifth grade. I am Claudia's daughter. I would like to tell you about my life at school.

There is peer-pressure to fit in. Every girl wants to talk, act, and be the prettiest of all of them. I am not part of them though, I absolutely love myself the way I am.

There is always a girl on top of all of us. They call her The Queen Bee. I believe her friends are just little slaves to her. Now readers, she was cruel and nasty to everyone now let me tell you how it happened.

First, The Queen Bee came in the classroom when I was in third grade. I was a bit insecure back then when I met her and she wanted to take advantage of me, but I still didn't let it  happen. We became great friends, but I knew who she hung out with, so I still wasn't sure if I wanted to be one of her best friends. A new girl came in class one day. She looked sweet and kind. The teacher told me to teach her how to fit in. I tried, but I wasn't the most popular girl then. The Queen Bee came up to me one day and asked me if I wanted to be in her club. But I was already best friends with the new girl. I refused to be her best friend, 1. I already had a best friend and I couldn't just leave her. 2. I knew what she turned her best friends into; mini little princesses. So I said no. The Queen Bee got mad at me. She told me I was just wasting my friendship with another girl when I could be in her group. I still said no. I kept loyal to MY friend. She told me that if I am not her best friend she will tell everyone my secrets. Right then I learned that she DID take advantage. But I still didn't care. I told her, "Go ahead, tell everyone my secrets, but what difference is it going to make since I will never be in your group." I stood with my head held high and walked away. Of course, she told everyone my secrets. But good thing I did not tell her all of them. She also banned me from her table, friends, and school. She told everyone to stop talking to me, but my best friend still hung out with me, even though no one liked me. I got new friends later on and didn't try to win her back like everyone did. I sat with my new friends and realized that it was much funner not caring about what anyone thinks. I was happy with what I had. :) ...

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Tea lights and washi tape tutorial

This is an easy peasy tutorial, a literally easy way to get a lovely fun instant decoration.

Tea lights
*kawaii tape or deco tape

*you might have this type of pretty tape at home. In case you don't and are wondering where you can get it?  
You can get it here in my shop
I am guilty of advertising once in a while  here I know!

Easy does it, just wrap the tape around the tea light candles.


NOTE:  As a reminder never leave burning candles unattended. Keep burning candles out of reach of children and pets. Avoid exposing burning candles to drafts and use caution when extinguishing.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Featured artist Kristin from CarriageOakCottage

I only hope you are enjoying your Sunday.  For today's feature I bring to you Kristin from CarriageOakCottage.  Now, let me tell you and I do not lie on this I had the hardest time choosing  items from her shop to feature on this humble blog of mine.  Her shop is just so beautiful and pleasant to the eye, go take a look and see what I am talking about.   Enjoy the interview.

Tell us as little or as much as you would like about yourself.
Hi! My name is Kristin and I am a Mom to 2 girls, ages 5 and 7, and wife to my husband of 12 years.

What do you sell?
I create mostly vases, but I am also experimenting with adding other home decor items to my shop.

Where does your inspiration to create come from and/or your inspiration in life?4.
I am inspired by getting out in nature and walking around in the woods or near the ocean. Whenever I have the chance to get away from the fast pace of everyday life and just be quiet, I get inspired.

Stackables Love Blocks
Besides creating what else do you do? Do you have a full time job?
With my youngest daughter having started kindergarten this year, sniffle, she's growing up... I am fully dedicated to my Etsy shop full time (when the girls are in school anyway) :)

When did you start thinking you were an artist?
Over the past year, I have become more and more comfortable with thinking myself as an artist. I think this might be a common phenomenon for artists who did not go to art school. Since, I do not have a degree in the field, I have struggled with even be "allowed" to call myself an artist. But I feel like my artwork is within me, as strange as that may sound. Yes, I think I am an artist. :)

Faux Bois Vase with carved heart
Where would you like to be in five years?
On the beach in Hawaii...
Or I would like to have a nice big open studio to work in. I currently work in a very small space and organizing my work is a struggle.

Is there anything you'd like to try doing that you haven't done?
crafts, sports, life in general?
I would love to learn to sew. I bought a sewing machine on sale a few years ago. I put it away after an afternoon of trying to thread the thing. I haven't seen it since! :)

Pink Vase
ways to contact you:
  ::etsy shop::

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Storefronts for March Week 3

When women are depressed, they eat or go shopping.  Men invade another country.  It's a whole different way of thinking.  ~Elayne Boosler

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Morning Laughs...spelling

Spelling is not that important when you are having fun!

So what if you forget how to spell 'ticket'? or what if you forget the 
'g' in 'sign in"  

I must confess it took me a few moments to 
figure out his writings

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Featured artist Rikke from FeltedByRikke

For Today's feature I bring to you Rikke from FeltedByRikke.  She has an esty shop full of felted items  from dolls to miniatures.  Please enjoy the interview.  Hope you are having a super Sunday and a Happy Saint Patrick's Day! thank you for stopping by.

1. Tell us as little or as much as you would like about yourself.
My name is Rikke and I´m a 42 year old single mom of 4 children. I work part time as a teacher in history, science and cooking in a small private school. 

2. What do you sell?
I sell felted items mainly needle felted but I have a few pencil cases and purses that are knitted and then felted in the washing machine as well.  Most of my needle felted items are bookmarks or miniatures but I have other items as well like key rings, bracelets and dolls (not as toys). 

Hair elastics
3. Why handmade?
Because I think it´s a very special thing to own something that another person has created in their home, especially if it´s made in another part of the world. I think there is a charming twist to a purchase when you know a mom, a grandma etc. has sit in their living room creating something for you to buy and treasure.
We do buy so many factory-produced items where there is no love in it, no personality etc. so buying handmade is something I see as a more personal purchase.

4. Where does your inspiration to create come from and/or your inspiration in life?
That is a though one, I do of course get inspired by what I see around on the internet, but my creations always seem to have a life on their own. I have experienced so many times that I have one plan for what I will create but it ends by being something else. I always let it happen and do nothing to "control" the result apart from the quality of course.

Bookmark  Fox  needle felted gift
5. Besides creating what else do you do? Do you have a full time job?
I work as a part time teacher.

6. When did you start thinking you were an artist?
"An artist" well I think the first time I really felt like an artist inside was at a craft fair last year where I participated. The fair was very big and the opening speech was held by a very famous art critic. In his speech he mentioned my dolls as something people should really come and look at. I think that was when I realized I might really be an artist.

7. Who has been most influential in your craft work?
Actually none in particular. I have met a lot of people on the internet who needle felts as well but we don´t make the same things at all. My mother was very creative, but she died 20 years ago and didn't needle felt at all and at that time I didn't do any craft projects at all.


8. Where would you like to be in five years?
I would like to have a minimum of 100 items in my shop and I would like to have another Etsy shop selling other kinds of crafts that I do.

Miniature tortoise
9. Is there anything you'd like to try doing that you haven't done?
crafts, sports, life in general?

I dream about writing at least one childrens book and would like my miniature turtle to play a big part in that. I too would like to teach needle felting more than I do now.

10. Besides online where else do you sell?
I have been selling at crafts fairs but I don't do that so much more. It takes 4 hours to create a bookmark so it´s really hard with work and kids to stock up so I have enough items for a craft show when I at the same time sell quite well on the internet.

 ways to contact you: 
 Email:  feltedbyrikke@gmail.com

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Storefronts for March Week 2

A bargain is something you can't use 
at a price you can't resist.  
~Franklin P. Jones

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Fabric Bandaids and fused plastic carrying case tutorial

Remember this little one?   She will be one years old on  April 4th.  The little munchkin started walking at  10 months!!  Time to get mommy ready for the challenges of toddler hood. 
For today's tutorial I will show you how to make pretty band aids covered with fabric and a fused plastic carrying case.

Material needed:
fabric scraps
glue dots or double sided tape

Step 1:  Cut out a piece of fabric a bit bigger than the band-aid

Step 2:  Place three dots of glue on the band-aid.   Center the middle one in the middle of the band-aid and the other two try to place them as close to the edge as possible (in this picture I didn't so my bad) or use double sided tape.

Step 3:  Place the fabric on top of the glue dots (or double sided tape) and cut around the edge.

You have a pretty band-aid now!

Or more! 

Now for the carrying case
plastic bag (the thin kind you get at the supermarket works best)
*parchment paper, wax paper, or regular paper
piece of velcro (I forgot to take a picture)

*I am using brown bags, it really does not matter what kind of paper you use but it is very important that the paper  is larger than the size of the plastic you want to fuse.

Step 1:  Prepare the plastic bag by flattening it, trim out the handles and bottom of the bag

Step 2:  If the bag has printing turn it inside out and fold it so that you have an 8 ply piece.

Step 3:    Sandwich the 8 ply plastic bag between two sheets of paper.  Do this in a well ventilated area.  Start with a medium setting, move the iron around, don't keep it in one place, make sure you get the edges.    Every 10 to 15 seconds turn the 'sandwich' over and keep ironing.  Make sure you do not iron the bag, you do not want to mess it up.  I am not responsible for your irons ladies!!   You can also check in between the layers to see how it's coming and you can decide to turn up the heat if you like.   But be careful because the plastic gets very HOT! Basically you do not want any bubbles and if you see any iron some more.

You will end up with a sort of plastic fabric very sturdy and durable also easy to clean.  I've been carrying in my purse a little coupon holder  made out of this material for the longest time.

I am not going to lie to you.  Chances are will mess up the first time you try this ( If you don't Starbucks is on me!  Let me know please).  I messed up the first time I tried it!  I am not undermining your ironing capabilities, but this is a thing you have to get a feel for.

Cut it in a trifold wallet size to fit the band aids.  Sew around the edges and place the velcro as closures.

NOTE:  you may say "Wait a minute this bag is not the same as the one on the first pictures." No, it is not!! I messed up on the first bag; not on the ironing part but I cut it the wrong size to fit the band-aids :/

This will make a great little handmade gift or you may keep it in your purse for yourself.  Because really a boo boo will feel better in a pretty band-aid.  Please seek medical attention if it's more serious than a boo boo. Please.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Featured artist Sara from gwaen

Hello dear friends and readers.  Today I bring you Sara from gwaen. She has a lovely little shop filled with upcycled leather jewelries such as brooches, bracelets and other accessories.  Stop by her shop to check out her goodies.

1. Tell us as little or as much as you would like about yourself.
I'm Sara, I live in Italy between Bologna (my hometown) and Tuscany coast (homeland of my boyfriend Dario). We both are cartoonists; we draw comics and illustrations for books. We also love doing urban sketching: in fact, we always carry in our bag a sketchbook, and we instantly draw everything we see and like of what surrounds us.

This is me while sketching in Assisi

2. What do you sell?
In my shop I sell mostly jewels made from leather scraps: romantic bow bracelets, mosaic geometric necklaces and brooches all made from colorful upcycled leather, but I sell also my self-printed comics, zines and sketches collections.

Comic journal zine Italian Language

3. Why handmade?
Handmade products are very personal; they have their own language. Moreover, you know their provenance, you can talk with the crafter, make him/her questions, ask for customizations. Buying and selling handmade is very satisfying, it's also a way to make relationships and establish a connection between customer and seller.

Handmade leather bow pin
4. Where does your inspiration to create come from and/or your inspiration in life?

Actually I don't know…from everything I see and learn, I think! Exhibitions, artworks, vintage pieces...I love experimenting, so every time that an idea, or the beginning of it, pops up into my mind, I start the process to realize it. I search images, color palettes and materials that could help me, then I create a first attempt and keep on perfecting it.

Boho Leather Necklace Grey Geometric pendant
5. Besides creating what else do you do? Do you have a full time job?
As I wrote above, I'm a cartoonist. I spend a lot of time with a pen, a pencil, brushes and colors in my hand, or in front of my PC to create digital images. Handling the leather, using a blade to cut it, getting the hands dirty with the glue and the acrylic paint, is my way to take a break remaining involved in a good creative mood.

6. When did you start thinking you were an artist?
I don't like to say that I'm an artist. I don't feel like an artist, yet. I'm still looking for my own path. 

7. Who has been most influential in your craft work?
It's impossible to tell! As I wrote before, I can't even tell where my inspiration comes from…! 

8. Where would you like to be in five years?
Everywhere my career will lead me: I want to follow every opportunity that will knock on my door. In my most uncontrolled dreams I'd like being invited in every corner of the world to sketch places and people, then publishing sketched travel books about each journey.

Handpainted bow bracelet
9. Is there anything you'd like to try doing that you haven't done?
crafts, sports, life in general?

I'd like to learn screen printing technique. And sewing my own dresses very well, too.

10. Besides online where else do you sell?
I sell my self-printed comics during the biggest comic exhibition in Italy, Lucca Comics and Games, and during other smaller exhibitions, too. My leather jewelry is on sale only in my Etsy shop, instead!

Ways to contact you:
 ::etsy shop::
email writeme@saramenetti.it

Friday, March 8, 2013

{this moment}

A Friday ritual inspired by  Soulemama

In her words: "A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week.  A simple, special, extraordinary moment.  A moment I want to pause, savor and remember."

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Storefronts for March Week 1

Storefronts in my new theme for the month of March, honestly I could take pictures of mailboxes all year but one must move on.

Hemet is such a retirement community we have the smallest of the smallest shopping malls.  Our Department Stores are Sears and JC Penney and I swear Super Walmart is bigger than them.  Don't get me wrong I love the city and have everything I need  here.  The question is where do I get my retail therapy??

Thrift shops!!, I have plenty of them all thorough the city and usually make weekly trips.  I've learned that if I am unsure about something and don't buy it immediately  it chances are I won't find it the following day.  It is a great way to recycle and reuse things.  Great way to save money help others because some of these shops help organizations or charities.   I also started growing my etsy sales with treasures I find in these places like my moncyfinds section, my paper section, repurposed fabric section in my shop.  Visiting thrift shops keeps me busy, and has helped grow my creativity side.  So in the  month of March I will share with you storefronts in Hemet.

Shopping is a woman thing.  It's a contact sport like football.  Women enjoy the scrimmage, the noisy crowds, the danger of being trampled to death, and the ecstasy of the purchase.  
~Erma Bombeck

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Morning Laughs...are back

I really don't know why I stopped posting the little posts morning laughs.  I thought of that yesterday when Xavi made me laugh and again this morning when he said something funny again.  I really love it when my kids come up with the funniest weirdest things and put a smile on my face. 

Yesterday Xavi told me "mom do you know my papi is very hairy and if he lets his hair grow he will become a monster in four year?"

Hairy eye pin on etsy

...and this morning he was talking about clothes and said "  Mom do you know girls in my class wear pink and purple always, ALWAYS!"

You know kids always have things to say.  So I will do my best to keep a record of these here in this blog of mine.  

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Brick bookend tutorial

                  A housewife on a budget is well... 
                 simply that a housewife on a budget.
I wish I could go out and buy whatever I want but I can't.

In order to start fixing my desk and since the little drawer space was too small to fit most of the books I had to put the books at the very top.  I had no bookends.  So what did I do?  Do it myself bookends.

Materials needed:
two bricks
sheet of scrapbook paper ( my sheet was (12x12 in)
scissors if needed
glue gun

This is really a no brainer.  Just wrap like if you were wrapping a gift, instead of tape use the glue gun.  I am sure you can tell my paper was a tad bit too short in the back.  But I won't tell if you won't tell.  That will be our little secret.  You can also use fabric to wrap the bricks.

There you have it two wrapped bricks that function as bookends.

Some of these books are mine and some are my husband's.  I thought it was very funny to see the titles 'Life couching for dummies' and 'Aromatherapy for dummies'  I guess there are a lot of dummies in this house.
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